The Best Pig Hunting in California is on the Central Coast

Summer Pig Hunting Guide Q&A


Why pig hunt on the central coast?

California pig hunting is some of the best in North America, and in California, the central coast has some of the best pig hunting in the state. The pig population is plentiful and much of the central coast is privately owned, making access to premium pig hunting land impossible without the help of a local guide service like Bitterwater Outfitters.

What factor does “hunting pressure” have on pig habits?

With access to over 320,000 acres of private ranch land, Bitterwater Outfitters has the luxury of managing the hunting pressure on pigs. We monitor pig activity frequently and we rotate ranches to make the hunting experience ideal for everyone. Too much pressure will result in a depleted population, while too little pressure will result in over population. We rotate ranches based on population and food sources. Due to the ability to manage pig populations, Bitterwater Outfitters has an exceedingly high success rate and has been able to meet the needs of ranch owners and hunters alike.

What are pigs eating throughout the year and where do you find pigs?

January through April they are grazing on green grasses and wild onions. So we typically find them on open hillsides, in canyons and in draws. May through September, as ground gets firm, they start patterning themselves towards the dryland barley fields. We have access to multiple barley fields on private ranches, which is a huge advantage over public land hunts and other guide services. October through December, they head to the pistachio orchards and the oak trees to eat the acorns that fall. We find them traveling between the different food sources and bedding areas.

Wild pigs have less of a structured pattern in spring when food and water is plentiful, which makes them harder to track. As food and water becomes more scarce, pigs begin to pattern themselves and become more predictable in their movement.

What are your predictions for population growth with all the rain we have been getting in the winter/spring?

With the rains this year, a higher percentage of pig litters have survived. Rain also results in better food sources, which promotes the population. Our population generally stays healthy due to the various food sources in the area throughout the year, but rain is always a benefit to wildlife.

Do you notice a migration pattern with the populations on your ranches or are the herds more localized?

We see mostly localized populations on the ranches we hunt. Food is the driving force for all pigs. They go where the food is, whether its 100 yards or 5 miles in one evening, pigs will travel for food. Pigs do two things really well, eat and survive. They tend to stay in areas where food sources are good and hunting pressure is low.

What makes pig hunting so exciting on the central coast?

San Luis Obispo County has beautiful country, great weather year round, and ranches with farming practices conducive to pig populations. Bitterwater Outfitters has access to some of the most beautiful ranch land in California. Hunters would not see this land otherwise. Hunters generally see a lot of pigs in a beautiful area. The wine tasting is another draw to the area, which hunters can participate in after their hunt.

What are the biggest draws to hunting pigs vs. other game?

Pig hunting is year round so it’s always a good time to pig hunt! Pig hunts are one of the more affordable big game options. They are exciting to hunt and great to eat. The pig hunts at Bitterwater Outfitters are a two day experience and 90% of our guests tag out on the first day. This is one of the biggest factors in using Bitterwater Outfitters guide services vs. DIY pig hunts, the success rate is around 98% on our ranches. Public land hunts might be “free,” but the success rate is quite low for public land pig hunting and typically the hunting pressure is high and it’s tough to get on pigs.

What do guests like most about Bitterwater Outfitters and why do you get so much repeat business when there is so much competition?

People come to Bitterwater Outfitters for the full experience. It’s a getaway, a retreat. You will sight in at the range, hunt in some beautiful country, come back and relax by the fire, fish in the pond, and just unwind. The actual hunt is just one part of the total experience. Our headquarters is on a working cattle ranch so when you hunt with us, you are experiencing a genuine western way of life. Hunting and ranching is what we do and hunters get to experience that with us.

We pride ourselves on proper game management and quality guided hunts. Our hunts have a very high success rate at 98%. We can typically get you on pigs the first day, usually within a few hours. We are constantly monitoring herds and know where their food and water sources are. Our goal is your success.

For our operation we have a cabin that sleeps 4 guests, a pond, showers, restrooms, picnic area, BBQ pit/eating area, fire pit, and a huge walk in cooler to store your meat. We also have trailer hookups and plenty of tent sites for guests to use free of charge.

What is the best piece of advice you can give someone looking to try pig hunting for the first time?

If you are hunting on public land do your homework and know the area you are hunting. Know where the food is and where the water sources are. Scout the area when time allows looking for signs of trails, tracks and rooting. Public land pig hunting has a really low success rate because it’s over hunted. It’s still possible, but you have to be committed to finding pigs and this takes time. At Bitterwater Outfitters we do the same thing, we constantly monitor herds and learn their patterns. We put in 100’s of hours so we can get you on a pig and put meat in your freezer. Our guided pig hunts are $950, you leave with meat in the freezer and a great relaxing 2 day experience.

We also offer a 2 day hunting school, this is a popular option for folks looking to learn how to hunt, then put what they learn to the test by finishing off with a pig hunt! This is hands down the best experience for someone interested in hunting pigs for the first time. You will learn everything you need to know to successfully hunt big game on your own.

Any closing comments?

If you love to hunt and want to be successful, please keep Bitterwater Outfitters in mind. We would love to see you as a customer and earn your business. We want you to enjoy the hunt!

I just wanted to say thank you to Randy Parker for his knowledge that he was able to share with me in the class and in the field. He was so patient with me and walked me through everything that the class has to offer. I could tell that he has been hunting for many years, he was also very big on safety with gun handling and where to have the perfect shot placement on the pig that he was leading me too. He taught me everything I needed to know on the range. We saw different trails and tracks that I will carry with me all the days of my hunting career. My wife came with my as a guest on the second day for the hunt and Randy made her feel like part of the team.Randy is also a good hearted man and fun to be around with and so easy to talk too. This class is well worth your time and money!! Randy showed me how to field dress the pig I shot and also how to skin it when we got back to the cleaning station.
Rod and Denise - Nov 24th/25th, 2014